Microwave Safety


Microwave ovens are frequently the source of non-fire cooking injuries.
Facts and figures:

*Microwave ovens were involved in an estimated 7,400 home* structure fires in 2005, resulting in 87 civilian injuries and $18 million direct property damage. There were no reported fire deaths.

  • *Nearly one-third (30%) of 2002-2005 non-confined microwave oven home structure fires cited appliance housing or casing as the item first ignited.
  • *Microwave ovens involve more emergency room scald burn injuries than any other cooking device.
  • *Nearly half (41%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2006 were scalds.
  • *Microwave ovens accounted for 41% of cooking equipment scald burns but only 5% of home cooking structure fires.

Safety tips:
• Read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a microwave oven.
• Plug the oven directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord because it may overload the circuit and cause a fire.
• Heat food in containers only intended for microwave use.
• Allow food to cool for a minute or more before removing from the oven using oven gloves.
• Open food slowly. Hot steam escaping from the container can cause painful burns. Let food cool before eating.
• Containers may feel warm. But the contents may be very hot.
• Never use aluminum foil or metal objects in a microwave oven. They can cause an arcing, fire or burn hazard and damage the oven
• If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. In doubt, get out and call the fire department.